I have a soft spot for makers, especially those who go out on their own to pursue their dreams of being their own boss and making on their own terms. And I love how whenever we embark on a mission to find the perfect maker for a project we have in mind, just the right person strolls along and brings to the table just we need, and more.
This happened when we knew we wanted to add custom-designed and locally-built wooden goods to our line-up: crystal shelves, bird houses, and just someone on call to collaborate with to create the things we need to set up shop. When we stumbled upon Nathan and heard his story and felt his passion for the work he does, we knew we were just getting started on many fun projects together, starting with our Walnut Crystal Shelves.
Introduce yourself and tell us what you do.
My name is Nathan Kolb, and I'm a woodworker based out of Chattanooga, TN. I studied at the Chattanooga Woodworking Academy and then served as the lead woodworker for Haskel Sears Designs, working on many commercial projects around town as well as restoring historical homes and building custom furniture. Recently I've begun building my own business, Boreal Woodworks, where I focus on bespoke furniture pieces and casework, as well as crafting smaller home goods.
What do you love most about the work you do?
What I love most about my line of work is the ability to channel my creative impulses into projects on a daily basis. Every day there are problems to solve and obstacles to overcome, and not only do you have to make it work but you have to make it work as elegantly as possible. It's not always easy and it's not always fun, but it's almost always rewarding and fulfilling.
What inspires you?
While I often find inspiration in the wood itself and try to create pieces that emphasize it's intrinsic beauty, my biggest motivator when creating pieces is the desire to craft long-lasting, personal pieces for people. In an economy that has become increasingly focused on short-term solutions and temporary products, I'm moved to create works that will last a lifetime and beyond. I often think back to my parents' home, to the kitchen table that we gathered around for nearly 30 years, or the coffee table that still has my name carved underneath the top. I want to create pieces that aren't simply used by the owner, but become a fixture of their home, a piece of their life, a part of their memory.
Have any words of advice you’d like to share?
Life is short - love big and find joy in what you do.